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Old 07-09-2011, 03:21 PM   #1
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TV Question in our '85 Excella

Hi all. Have an '85 Excella. It came with a TV that works fine. Today I thought I was getting a new TV that would work on antenna, if necessary, and not require a digital converter box. Now I find out that is not the case. The old one is a flat screen and lightweight and works fine on a cable hookup. We never tried it on the antenna and now with digital signals it needs a external box. It was my understanding, however flawed, that newer TV's had all that converter technology built in so we went out and got one. Come to find out, it ain't so. So I'm planning to take it back and use the old one and just get the box.

Am I on the right track here. I've been wrong before, once or twice, and would just like to get it right. Cable hookups, no problems. I would like to be able to use it ( old one or new one ) on antenna when cable not available. Please, someone, set me straight on this one.

PS: What is the common opinions regarding the factory equipped rooftop antennas on our older AS's.

Thanks all. Appreciate your input.
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Old 07-09-2011, 03:37 PM   #2
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Newer TVs work fine without a converter box, provided that they have an ATSC tuner. My 5-year old Mitsubishi works great! Beware of the words "HDTV Ready", that's a scam to sell equipment that doesn't come with a proper tuner. When I said newer TVs, I meant one that was manufactured with an ATSC tuner within the last few years. There are plenty of old stock TVs, some flat screens, the are still being sold. You didn't mention what kind of TV it was and where you got it. I've recently seen WalMart and Freds selling old CRT TVs cheap. You couldn't even pay me to haul one to the dump.

However, if you do have a ATSC tuner, you do need to scan for channels. There will be instructions in the manual. That could be all you need to do.

If yours doesn't have the ATSC tuner, your're right, take it back as quick as possible! There are plenty of readily available TVs that do have the proper tuner at reasonable prices.

My advice is to make sure that you get one that is 1080p, not 720p. 720p is an old standard that is, in my opinion, nothing more than another rip-off. Only slightly better than "HDTV ready." I've included a link to an Amazon search for 1080p tvs. Many of them even come with free shipping.

Best of luck with your TV search. Let us know how everything works out.
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Old 07-09-2011, 03:42 PM   #3
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Thanks Vaughn. The one I got is from Best Buy, their brand name starts with a "D", not sure of the pixel count but it does have the ATSC tuner. So if I'm on the same road as you are, each time you have to let it do a scan to access the channels available to your location and that with that done it will run with no externally needed digital converter box ????? If that's correct than that will perform as I was hoping.

Thanks for the quick response. It's returnable for 30 days so I just may hold it and give it a try.
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Old 07-09-2011, 03:48 PM   #4
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Hi Roger,

Sounds like you're in good shape to me. Best Buy is a reputable company and I can't imagine that they have any old out of date stock. I think that a channel scan should put you in business. Also, you don't need any kind of special antenna for digital signals, the originals work just great. The antennas don't know or care what kind of signal they pickup.
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Old 07-09-2011, 04:57 PM   #5
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Thanks again. My son brought up the question and he thought we would STILL need the external box. So when I got home I called BB and spoke with their people. Like my son he was of the opinion that the external converter would still be needed when using the antenna. That's what got me going. I appreciate your experience and will give it a try. Since they have a 30 day return I'm covered if something goes awry.

Thanks, you made my day.
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Old 07-09-2011, 05:46 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by polarlyse View Post
Thanks again. My son brought up the question and he thought we would STILL need the external box. So when I got home I called BB and spoke with their people. Like my son he was of the opinion that the external converter would still be needed when using the antenna. That's what got me going. I appreciate your experience and will give it a try. Since they have a 30 day return I'm covered if something goes awry.

Thanks, you made my day.
There's a lot of confusion about over the air and antennas. Most people have no experience at all now. It's really quite simple once you get the hang of it. Know to use the scan feature is the hardest part. You want to do that occasionally even on your home system. Stations can add channels and new ones appear from time to time.

My favorite news station, Channel 11 KTHV in Little Rock, has a second channel that is standard def providing news all the time while their main channel provides HD for their news and CBS programming. They can only afford HD equipment for their main channel right now. What they do that is fun is leave the signal live on THV2 instead of going to commercial. They cutup, read, make personal phone calls, and just talk to the audience during the time the main channel is showing commercials.

I have a Dish 722 DVR that picks up the Dish HDTV satellite and will tune in over the air HD. The Little Rock stations from Dish's satellites are not HD, so I use my antenna for the local stations. My 722 will record the local stations in HD over the antenna. I can also watch HD over the air using either the tuner in my Mitsubishi or my Dish DVR. Of course, I can't pause the programming using the TV like I can using the DVR, so I usually use the DVR. I have had to return two of the original Dish 622 DVRs and watched nothing but the over the air HD using the tuner in the TV while waiting for the replacement DVRs to arrive.
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:26 PM   #7
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Hi Roger, haven't been on the forum for awhileand just noticed this post. I have a 1989 Excella that had the original Aluminum element antenna, when they went to Digital, I had to use the converter box that I got from Best Buy. I later had a Wineguard Sensar Batwing installed and that eliminated the converter box, because the Batwing is Digital compatible.
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Old 09-29-2011, 02:59 PM   #8
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All antennas are digital compatible. All tuners are not. It's the tuner that determines whether you need the converter box.
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:18 PM   #9
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I agree with everything that Vaughn has said to this point with one exception: 720P is pretty fine definition in my book. Many newer TVs of less than 40" screen size use that, since the smaller screen makes it harder to differentiate between 720P and 1080P.

I will go one further: the only time I can really see much of a difference at all on my 50" plasma (less than a year old) is when I play a BlueRay Disc. Off-air, I can't see any difference between the two.
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Old 09-29-2011, 03:46 PM   #10
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I agree with everything that Vaughn has said to this point with one exception: 720P is pretty fine definition in my book. Many newer TVs of less than 40" screen size use that, since the smaller screen makes it harder to differentiate between 720P and 1080P.

I will go one further: the only time I can really see much of a difference at all on my 50" plasma (less than a year old) is when I play a BlueRay Disc. Off-air, I can't see any difference between the two.
I have a 37" Mitshibi, and the difference is pretty obvious when the programming is 720. For example, local news remote cameras.

Of course, I sit pretty close to it. Close enough that I use it for a 1920 x 1080 computer monitor, about 6 feet (or the width of a 1983 Excella) away.



I agree that there would be no perceptible difference viewing a 22" screen at that distance. It would be noticeable at arms length, like on the monitor (22" 1920 x 1080) I am using right now. Viewing distance has a definite effect.

The reason I think that 1080 is worth getting over 720 is that there are now many smaller flat screens, 27" and up anyway, available in the higher resolution that are reasonably priced. They also make great computer monitors. They're what I would look for.
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Old 09-29-2011, 04:21 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vswingfield View Post
My advice is to make sure that you get one that is 1080p, not 720p. 720p is an old standard that is, in my opinion, nothing more than another rip-off. Only slightly better than "HDTV ready." I've included a link to an Amazon search for 1080p tvs. Many of them even come with free shipping.

Best of luck with your TV search. Let us know how everything works out.
Keep in mind that, up until very, very recently, you could not get a small LCD or Plasma TV higher than 720 resolution. It had to do with the manufacturing of the panels themselves.

Also, several networks (Fox, ABC) were slow to move from 720 to 1080i and beyond to 1080 progressive, so it was moot for many early adopters to try and find (they could not) 1080 panels in 32" and smaller sizes.

Try to find a 120Hz panel as the 60Hz exhibit lag during panning of the camera or fast action. If you prefer the cadence of movies (24fps) to the shiny, smooth look of live sports / Discovery Channel, you can usually drop the monitor into a cinema mode for that type of viewing - even if it is advertised at 240Hz and higher.

Samsung makes some very thin LCD LED backlit monitors (along with others like Panasonic, which are excellent) that give a more even illumination than the corner and edge lit models (you'll see a glow in the corners on these).
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Old 09-29-2011, 08:56 PM   #12
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We got a cheap little. Tv with a built-in digital tuner and it gets GREAT reception from the original antenna in our 89 excella. Vswingfield, that is gorgeous!!!!
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Old 09-29-2011, 10:19 PM   #13
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We got a cheap little. Tv with a built-in digital tuner and it gets GREAT reception from the original antenna in our 89 excella. Vswingfield, that is gorgeous!!!!
Thanks a lot!

It could use a little tidying up right now. Guess I'll have to work on that this weekend.
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Old 09-30-2011, 08:44 AM   #14
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I've been eyeing the Samsung LED model I linked above (Amazon). For $225 - $299, they offer two 1080p panel sets, with an advertised CMR (their own measurement of refresh rates) of 120. The worst thing I've read is that they do not offer audio output on the 5000 model, though the 5010 seems to offer this. Neither is Wi-Fi, so you'll have to stream your Netflix or Blockbuster via a third-party box or Samsung dongle.

TVs | 22-inch LED 5010 Series LED HDTV | Samsung UN22D5010NF - LED TVs
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